February 19, 2013 / 2:40 PM / in 5 years

Windstream to stick with $1 annual dividend rate

NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Rural telephone operator Windstream Corp said on Tuesday that it would stick with its $1 annual dividend, soothing some investors fears, after another telephone company, CenturyLink Inc, cut its dividend by 25 percent last week.

“Windstream continues to produce substantial free cash flow that enables us to invest in our business and reduce our debt while continuing to pay our $1 annual dividend,” Chief Executive Jeff Gardner said in a statement.

The company also reported a fourth-quarter profit of $10 million or 2 cents per share compared with a loss of $35 million or 7 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter on revenue that rose to $1.54 billion from $1.21 billion.

Windstream shares were down 10 cents $8.83 in morning trade on Nasdaq. The stock has fallen more than 9 percent since CenturyLink announced its dividend reduction on Feb. 13.

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